Van Vleuten’s calendar, Molano doubles up, BWR expands: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!

We’re getting pretty close to the weekend now. Maybe if you read today’s DND extra slowly, it will be here by the time you’ve finished?

From the world of road racing, Annemiek van Vleuten has unveiled her Classics calendar, and just like in 2019, it will be busy one that includes Strade Bianche, the Tour of Flanders, and the Ardennes races. Meanwhile, it was a sprinter-friendly day at the Tour Colombia, with Sebastián Molano taking a second straight stage win.

Away from the road, the Belgian Waffle Ride has a big announcement, just in case you were looking for more evidence that gravel racing is on the rise. The San Diego-based event is expanding to not just one but two new locations: Asheville, North Carolina, and Cedar City, Utah.

The trio of races will form a new series branded as the “Tripel Crown of Gravel.”

Until next time, readers!

What’s News

| Van Vleuten’s plans for the Classics

World road champ Annemiek van Vleuten has laid out her program for the Classics, and as usual, she will be busy in the big races this season. Van Vleuten will race the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche, Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders, and the Ardennes trio of the Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

“Usually I am a slow starter in the Spring Classics but this time I expect to be ready for Nieuwsblad and carry that forward, so this is pretty exciting for me,” she said. “They’re all races that really suit me, I don’t particularly like the weather but I can deal with it.

| Molano doubles up in Colombia

Sebastián Molano is on a roll in Colombia. The 25-year-old UAE Team Emirates rider picked up his second straight victory at the Tour Colombia 2.1 on Thursday, winning stage 3 ahead of fellow Colombians Edwin Ávila and Álvaro Hodeg.

EF’s Jonathan Caicedo finished safely in the bunch to retain his race lead.

| Belgian Waffle Ride expands with two new events and “Tripel Crown” series

The Belgian Waffle Ride is expanding. The San Diego gravel race in May will be one of three events under the BWR umbrella in 2020. A new race in Asheville, North Carolina, is scheduled for August, and a race in Cedar City, Utah, is planned for October.

Altogether, the trio will make up a new series branded as the “Tripel Crown of Gravel.”

| Bouhanni wins Provence opener

Nacer Bouhanni won stage 1 of the Tour de La Provence, which was elevated from UCI 2.1 status to the inaugural ProSeries of races this year.

The Frenchman topped Jakub Mareczko and Giacomo Nizzolo in a sprint to get the victory and the first race lead.

| Saleh wins in Langkawi

Mohd Harrif Saleh picked up his second stage win of this year’s Tour de Langkawi in Thursday’s stage 7, besting Matteo Pelucchi and Taj Jones in a sprint.

Danilo Celano remains in the race lead with one stage remaining.

| Rapha Foundation announces second round of grantees

The Rapha Foundation has named the recipients that comprise its second round of grantees.

The Foundation awarded a total of $750,000 across four organizations: The Cyclists’ Alliance, the Rayner Foundation (formerly the Dave Rayner Fund), Helen100, and the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust.

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Today’s featured image of Sebastián Molano doubling up on stage wins at the Tour Colombia comes from Cor Vos.

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